Round 7 Preview: Warriors v Dragons

Source: NRL.com

New Zealand Warriors vs St George Illawarra Dragons.
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium.
Date: Friday, April 20th.
Time: 6:00pm.

Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu'a, 3 Peta Hiku, 17 Anthony Gelling, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 20 Mason Lino, 8 Bunty Afoa, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 11 Simon Mannering, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair
Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Albert Vete
Reserves: 18 Chris Satae, 21 Isaiah Papali'i, 22 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Dragons: 1 Matthew Dufty, 2 Nene Macdonald, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Jason Nightingale, 6 Gareth Widdop (c), 7 Ben Hunt, 8 James Graham, 9 Cameron McInnes, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Tyson Frizell, 12 Tariq Sims, 13 Jack De Belin
Interchange: 14 Jeremy Latimore, 15 Kurt Mann, 16 Leeson Ah Mau, 17 Hame Sele
Reserves: 18 Jacob Host, 19 Zachary Lomax

Game Preview.
Well here we have it, the top of the table clash, 1st vs 2nd! It’s the 5-1 Warriors hosting the undefeated 6-0 Dragons! Bring it on!

The New Zealand Warriors are coming off the back of a loss to the Brisbane Broncos. It was a game I think most of the NRL fan base wanted the Warriors to win as we were all keen to see the two teams go undefeated and face eachother this weekend to see who comes away with the first loss of the season! The Warriors last week were quite a mess, and it’s a loss not to many are taking to seriously. The Broncos looked better with Jack Bird in the halves, and every team has a bad week every now and then. The bad part for the Warriors however is the loss of Shaun Johnson who won’t be playing in the top of the table clash. Mason Lino will fill the void of Shaun Johnson, and in the last game he played in, he was fantastic. I’m definitely not writing the Warriors off.

The Dragons are the only remaining undefeated team in 2018. They have been unbelievable! Their wins haven’t even been to hard fought with all 6 wins being quite the dominant performance and most of them being a blow out. The spine for the Dragons has been the best in the comp so far this week, and I don’t see them letting off this week. I expect a hard game for the Red V this week, and they will most definitely need to be on their best game to knock off the Warriors at home.

Key Match Ups.

Match Up #1: Blake Green vs Gareth Widdop.

Blake Green has been arguably the buy of the year so far this season. He’s allowed his fellow half to play the style of footy he’s accustom too, and he’s really helped direct the Warriors team around the park.

Gareth Widdop.... wow! He’s scored more point alone than the Parramatta Eels have as a team! He’s been one of the best players in the game over the first 6 rounds and I don’t see him slowing down tonight!

Match Up #2: Isaac Luke vs Cameron McInnes.

Isaac Luke is back! He’s been pretty poor since signing with the Warriors, but this season he’s found his old form and is a big reason as to why the Warriors are winning games. Expect him to play hard!

One of the best hookers in the game, and fighting hard for that NSW Blues #9 jersey. He’s been brilliant this year and big reason as to why the Dragons forward pack is so dominant this year. 

Match Up #3: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck vs Matt Dufty.

Just like Isaac Luke, RTS is back to his best. The Warriors fullback has always been a metre eater, but he’s been an absolute spark out back for them offensively. I’m expecting a big game from him tonight, and even have a cheeky bet on him to grab a 4 pointer.

Matt Dufty is the best fullback in the game over the opening 6 rounds. The young gun has given Red V faithfuls reasons to rejoice as it seems as though they have found their long term fullback. Just like RTS, I’m backing him in for a try.

Stonecold’s Prediction: Warriors by 4.
Yep! I said it right! I’m going the Warriors. I think the loss for them last week is the worst thing to happen to the Dragons for tonight and I feel like that monster home ground advantage will get them over the line in a close one!


-Stonecold.

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